1994 29¢ Native American Culture
Legends of the West
Issue Date: October 18, 1994
City: Laramie, WY, Tucson, AZ and Lawton, OK
Quantity: 19,282,800 panes
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 10.1 x 10
The New World was first settled 40,000 to 20,000 years ago by Asian peoples crossing a land bridge formed by glaciers at the Bering Strait. When Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, the people he dubbed “Indians” had spread across the entire landmass of North and South America. The Native Americans were a diverse group, developing their cultures by harmonizing with the natural world.
As American settlers migrated westward they encountered people very different from themselves. From the salmon-fishing Chinooks of the Northwest, to the buffalo-hunting Sioux of the Great Plains, to the agricultural Navajo of the Southwest, the wild west was thriving with a different kind of civilization.
At first the Native Americans tolerated the small flow of whites through their lands, but the flow soon grew into a flood. As whites continually took more of their land, the buffalo and other game on which they depended disappeared, and strange new diseases took their toll. Attitudes changed, and although the Indians were fearless warriors, winning many victories, they were no match for well-equipped American troops. In the end, the Native Americans were settled onto reservations – their ways of life changed forever.